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  Rock, Paper and Scissors Big Kids
Year: 2019
Director: Martin Blousson, Macarena Garcia Lenzi
Stars: Agustina Cervino, Valeria Giorcelli, Pablo Sigal
Genre: Horror, DramaBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: Maria Jose (Valeria Giorcelli) and Jesus (Pablo Sigal) are watching their favourite film, The Wizard of Oz, but someone insists on ringing the doorbell downstairs. They live together on their own since their father died, a victim of a botched suicide attempt that not only left him bedridden, but also invalidated the insurance on him, leaving his two offspring on slender means. But there is another sibling, Magdalena (Agustina Cervino), and this is who is at the door. She has done fairly well for herself since she left the family fold, becoming an actress in Spain, but she has returned for a few days to her original home in Argentina to see if she can sort out the will her late parent left. But she may be staying longer...

Twisted family sagas were ten a penny in the nineteen-sixties, with sisters and brothers and mothers and fathers doing terrible things to one another in a distillation of the kind of rivalry and oneupmanship that are par for the course in any normal familial relationship but amplified through the psychological maladjustment that really took hold in the cinema of that decade. Yet every so often, you'll get a throwback to those days when all you needed for a hit was a pair of relatives being perfectly beastly to each other, and this Argentinian effort, based on a stage play but using the claustrophobia that could capitalise on to a motion picture environment, was almost self-consciously in the tradition of a What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?.

Those are pretty big shoes to fill, especially when the other horror hit that many memories would go to was the adaptation of Stephen King's bestseller Misery, where James Caan was held hostage by his number one fan Kathy Bates. Oddly, here Magdalena's brother and sister don't quiz her on the details of her career, despite being captivated by the mechanics of making a film, so much so that Jesus is crafting an amateur effort on his camcorder with home computer special effects and Maria Jose as his leading lady - dressed up as Dorothy Gale from The Wizard of Oz, naturally, and with a running commentary on the director's view of what the character means to him. Maria Jose's pet guinea pig also features heavily, being the stand-in for Dorothy's little dog Toto, which gives Magdalena the creeps; she calls it a rat.

Oh, major faux pas there, especially as somehow she has turned into the shut-in pair's captive audience and indeed actual captive when, after some business with the will that would see the crumbling house sold and the other two out on the streets (she's not bothered about that), she either trips or is pushed on the stairs. Magdalena is then relegated to her late father's bed since now she cannot walk, at the mercy of the duo she had at her own, unthinking mercy only a short time before, and so as is the way with these affairs, a power game erupts where first one, then the other of the siblings seems more sympathetic, as we judge them from their treatment of Magdalena. Of course, they're both stark raving mad, and if there was not a huge amount of depth to their mental state, as horror flick villains they were unsettling in that you could perceive the cruel logic to their behaviour since it is something we all saw as kids. Very well acted throughout - even the guinea pig had its moments - this was going to appeal to a niche audience, but they would appreciate its nastiness, that was for sure. Music by Gabriel Barredo and Emilio Haro.

Aka: Piedra, papel y tijera

[This receives a North American digital and on demand release July 6 2021 from Dark Star Pictures.]
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

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